Cyberabad cops bust racket in Telangana after fraudulent issue of 72 passports

Published on Feb 24, 2021 08:18 PM IST

Cyberabad police have arrested eight people in the passport scam, including two policemen who were responsible for verifying applications.

Indian passport and authentic indian tricolour flag made up of khadi or pure cotton material - Stock image(HT Archive)
Indian passport and authentic indian tricolour flag made up of khadi or pure cotton material - Stock image(HT Archive)

The Cyberabad police in Hyderabad on Tuesday unearthed a major passport racket, in which 72 people obtained their passports fraudulently by showing fake addresses, mobile phone numbers and Aadhaar cards in collusion with two police officials in Bodhan of Telangana’s Nizamabad district, in the last two years.

“We have written to the Regional Passport Office, Hyderabad, for cancellation of these 72 passports. We are also coordinating with Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for cancellation of their Aadhaar cards, 60 of which were issued in West Bengal. We are briefing district collectors and superintendents of police of various districts in West Bengal to trace these fake Aadhar card holders,” Cyberabad police commissioner V C Sajjannar said.

The passport racket came to light on January 25 this year, when the Cyberabad police, acting on a complaint by the immigration authorities at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, arrested three Bangladesh nationals – Nitai Das alias Sanjib Dutta, Mohammad Hasibur Rehman alias Ramu Das and Mohammad Rana Mia alias Mondal Sandip while they were trying to leave for Dubai.

During the profiling of the three accused revealed that they stayed at Bodhan and they had obtained Indian passports fraudulently with the help of one agent Shahnaj Pail from West Bengal who arranged fake Aadhaar cards for them.

Subsequently, the police arrested five others involved in the passport scam. They included Parimal Bain from Bangladesh, Shahnaj Patel from West Bengal, Mateen Ahmed Mirza from Bodhan, Peruka Mallesh Rao, sub-inspector of police, Bodhan and B Anil Kumar, assistant sub-inspector of police, Bodhan.

“All the arrested have been remanded to judicial custody. Three others – Sameer and Manoj from West Bengal and Sadham Hussain from Mumbai are absconding,” the police commissioner said.

The investigation also revealed that the racket was carried out with the help of the two police officials – Mallesh Rao and Anil Kumar, who were in charge of verifying passport applications.

“An unusual number of 37 passports were issued on the same address and another 20 passports on another single address. In all, 72 passports were issued to the people belonging to seven addresses, all in Bodhan,” Sajjannar said.

The probe also found ed that even the phone numbers mentioned by the applicants were similar. As many as 15 passports had the same phone number and another 13 passports also were issued on a similar phone number.

Of these 72 people who had obtained passports through fraudulent means, 19 people had already left for different countries like Thailand, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Malaysia, South Africa and Spain.

“Special teams have been formed to trace the remaining passport holders and the absconding accused,” the police commissioner said.

A case had been booked under Section 429, 468 and 471 of Indian Penal code, besides Section 14 of Foreigners’ Act, he added.

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    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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